comme un dessert

craiguito

Member
UK English
I'm reading a text which describes a large vehicle moving very slowly: il avance à très faible allure COMME UN DESSERT I've never come across this before. Would we just have to say it was at a snail's pace?
 
  • Jabote

    Senior Member
    French from France
    Thre might be something missing in the original sentence... I think I have heard somewhere "avancer à faible allure, comme UN CHAMEAU DANS LE DÉSERT"... like a camel in the desert...
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Jabote said:
    Thre might be something missing in the original sentence... I think I have heard somewhere "avancer à faible allure, comme UN CHAMEAU DANS LE DÉSERT"... like a camel in the desert...
    Et si c'était de la mélasse qui monte la côte en hiver... :D
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    A friend of mine just suggested to me that when you're a kid, you spend the whole meal waiting for the dessert, and that it seems like eternity...:D
     

    Jabote

    Senior Member
    French from France
    egueule said:
    A friend of mine just suggested to me that when you're a kid, you spend the whole meal waiting for the dessert, and that it seems like eternity...:D
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Now THAT'S clever !!!! Quite a good idea in fact ... ! Could be it actually !
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    fetchezlavache said:
    applied to a vehicle ????????? come on !!!! the idea is cute but i find it doesn't make sense at all...
    Well it was just a suggestion and i've read weirder similes before.
    Craiguito, what is the style of that book like?
    Edit: Zut, il est parti!
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    egueule said:
    A friend of mine just suggested to me that when you're a kid, you spend the whole meal waiting for the dessert, and that it seems like eternity...:D
    Lucky you.
    You have smart friends :)
     

    Jabote

    Senior Member
    French from France
    fetchezlavache said:
    applied to a vehicle ????????? come on !!!! the idea is cute but i find it doesn't make sense at all...
    He he.... I had kept "à faible allure comme un dessert" in mind... I had forgotten all about the vehicle.... !


    Nope, definitely doesn't make any sense !!!
     

    OlivierG

    Senior Member
    France / Français
    Le Gone du Chaâba:
    "Encombrant le petit chemin de son nez de fer immense, il avance à
    très faible allure, comme un dessert, un camion de poubelles majestueux, plein aux as, débordant de trésors de tous côtés.»"
     

    Jabote

    Senior Member
    French from France
    OlivierG said:
    I think "dessert" is not related to "faible allure". It just means it causes desire, admiration.
    And also like a camion de poubelles ???? Personally a camion de poubelles does not cause any desire or admiration in my little self...
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    OlivierG said:
    Le Gone du Chaâba:
    "Encombrant le petit chemin de son nez de fer immense, il avance à
    très faible allure, comme un dessert, un camion de poubelles majestueux, plein aux as, débordant de trésors de tous côtés.»"
    Le camion qui va porter les trésors au dépotoir est donc "désirable comme un dessert".
    Il doit y avoir mieux que désirable, mais étoffer un peu serait un moyen de s'en tirer.
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    I think "dessert" is not related to "faible allure". It just means it causes desire, admiration.
    That's right. I read the book too a while ago - but couldn't remember that particular sentence, my memory isn't that good.

    "as tempting as a dessert", maybe.
     

    Tsarina

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Peut-être c'est parce-que j'ai faim à ce moment --- but what popped into my head was the image of a dessert cart in a fancy restaurant, loaded with big cakes and fancy desserts of all kinds, lumbering down between the tables ---
    :D
     

    jalkues75

    Member
    USA french
    The garbage truck's advancement is compared to a desert as in Sahara or perhaps the Mohave. It advances slowly as if advancing to the desert--which it doesn't want to visit!
     

    fetchezlavache

    Senior Member
    france
    merci olivier pour la phrase ! it's certainly an odd one. boy are there things about that book that i have forgotten ! i think the little boy is so in awe of the many goods spilling over the garbage truck that he compares it to a dessert.
     

    craiguito

    Member
    UK English
    Thank you all for the sugestions - seems to have caused quite a discussion. I can see the image that some of you have suggested. Don't quite know how I'd convey that in English (I have to translate that particular passage). I also think it might be a spelling mistake.
     

    RODGER

    Senior Member
    UK ENGLISH
    Just to have my two pennyworth, I think you've been thrown off the scent because the initial sentence is a slightly disjointed and "comme un dessert" refers simply to the appearance of the truck and not to its speed. So if we could rephrase the original to read

    "Encombrant le petit chemin de son nez de fer immense, il avance à très faible allure, ce camion de poubelles majestueux,comme un dessert, plein aux as,débordant de trésors de tous côtés"

    then a sense emerges. Non ?
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    OlivierG said:
    Le Gone du Chaâba:
    "Encombrant le petit chemin de son nez de fer immense, il avance à
    très faible allure, comme un dessert, un camion de poubelles majestueux, plein aux as, débordant de trésors de tous côtés.»"
    Proposition (mistakes and gallicisms included):

    Tantalizing as a dessert, the majestuous garbage truck, packed with treasures jutting out from all sides, slowly proceeds forward, encumbering the little road with its great big iron nose.

    It's a start. :eek:
    I felt the inversion made it easier.
     

    RODGER

    Senior Member
    UK ENGLISH
    Yes, so to take it on, "Like a tantalizing dessert, the majestic garbage truck, stuffed with treasures trailing from all sides, rolls slowly forward, filling the little road with its great iron nose"

    getting there......

    :) Rodger
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    RODGER said:
    Yes, so to take it on, "Like a tantalizing dessert, the majestic garbage truck, stuffed with treasures trailing from all sides, rolls slowly forward, filling the little road with its great iron nose"

    getting there......

    :) Rodger
    I like that. I suppose you forgot the "big" in "great big iron nose".
     

    RODGER

    Senior Member
    UK ENGLISH
    yes, there's still a small problem here "great" on its own is not big enough for "immense" but "great big" is 2 words and amazingly when you think about it "big" is in competition with "great" somehow and reduces the impact, so what about "enormous" ?
    "its enormous iron nose "

    Rodger
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    RODGER said:
    yes, there's still a small problem here "great" on its own is not big enough for "immense" but "great big" is 2 words and amazingly when you think about it "big" is in competition with "great" somehow and reduces the impact, so what about "enormous" ?
    "its enormous iron nose "

    Rodger
    I thought that "great big" was cute in this context.
    I googled and found:
    "...Perhaps I should explain myself, that is, "elucidate."
    Great big words, I like big words.
    Letter by letter, the bigger the better
    Great big words. La la la la la la la la la la!"

    Anyway, "enormous" sounds all right too.
     
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